Clinic space shuffle centralizes care

Move in Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion brings together Center for Lungs and Breathing specialists
Jan. 26, 2017

If one looks at the sixth floor of the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion at University of Colorado Hospital as a clinical jigsaw puzzle, the pieces now form a much clearer picture.

That’s in the wake of a series of moves wrapped up in September. The shifts include moving the Allergy/Asthma Clinic from the fifth floor to the sixth, adjacent to the ENT and Audiology clinics on the east side. All three are part of the hospital’s multidisciplinary Comprehensive Lung and Breathing Program, noted the clinics’ practice manager, Alexann Hale. The move also provides more staff space for the Allergy/Asthma Clinic, she said.

The new geographic arrangement should make providing multidisciplinary patient care easier, said Tim Wimbish, director of the CLB.

A sign in a hospital.
Clinics providing surgical services are now together on the west side of the sixth floor of the AOP.

“We’re able to optimize the use of equipment and space and provide for much better and thorough evaluations of patients,” Wimbish said. He said the CLB aims to individualize treatment for patients with wide varieties of respiratory-related issues. That requires smooth communication between providers and staff, and the new layout is a step in that direction.

With the revamp of the east side of the sixth floor, the Multispecialty Surgery Clinic moved to the west side and gained one exam room. The move also created a separate clinic for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with eight exam rooms and a procedure room, said Tonie Moore, clinical operations manager for the Multispecialty Surgery Practice, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Wound and Ostomy Care.

Meanwhile, with the sixth floor changes, the Digestive Health Center and GI Clinic moved to the fifth floor of the AOP. It moved into the space formerly occupied by The Center for Integrative Medicine, which moved to Stapleton last December. Digestive Health Program Director Dianna Webb said the move, which finished Sept. 23, gives the Digestive Health-GI Clinic 12 exam rooms, up from nine.

The space shuffle on the fifth and sixth floors is the latest chapter in a vast remodeling of the AOP that began nearly two years ago. The overarching goal of the $15 million project, slated for completion early next year, was to add badly needed clinical space: more than 100 exam rooms, all told. One of the remaining pieces of the redesign and expansion is the ENT Clinic, which is slated to get eight additional exam rooms in December, Hale said. Those rooms will serve rhinology and sleep surgery patients primarily.

A sign in a hospital.
Audiology, ENT and Allergy/Asthma, all clinics that are part of the Center for Lungs and Breathing, are adjacent to one another on the east side of the sixth floor.

Katherine Green, MD, an otolaryngologist and fellowship-trained sleep surgery specialist, joined the hospital and the CLB team last summer and will see patients in the larger ENT Clinic. Green is only one of a number of clinical providers to join the CU School of Medicine faculty and the hospital as part of the fifth and sixth floor reconfigurations in the AOP (see box).

More efficient physical arrangements and greater clinical capacity are the immediate benefits of the project. But more broadly, the goal is to encourage clinical collaboration, Wimbish said. He noted that asthma, for example, has many causes and therefore many potential treatments. Meeting the needs of these and other patients with complex conditions demands specialists of many stripes who are comfortable talking to and consulting with one another.

“It’s not one size fits all. It’s about finding what treatment fits each individual,” he said. “We’re doing more education among our own providers, on and across floors. They are learning about other specialties and about working together to evaluate respiratory issues.”

Clinical expansion

The geographic reorganization of the fifth and sixth floors of the AOP has also brought in new clinical faculty.

The Digestive Health Center-GI Clinic added four new physicians in August and September, bringing the total to 19, said Program Director Dianna Webb:

The Allergy/Asthma Clinic also added faculty and staff, said Practice Manager Alexann Hale. These include:

  • Fernando Holguin, MD, a severe asthma specialist
  • Hannah Long, PA-C, physician assistant
  • Lynda Ferguson, clinical nurse educator
  • Sunita Sharma, MD, will begin practicing with the Asthma program in December, moving from the Pulmonary Clinic.

The Surgical Weight Loss Center has a new nurse practitioner, Typhanie Beasley, FNP, said Clinical Operations Manager Tonie Moore.

The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Clinic added:

  • Ashley Ignatiuk, MD
  • Sarah Douglas, PA, physician assistant
  • Peggy Walsh, PA, physician assistant

Wound and Ostomy Care changes and additions include:

  • Robert Carson, MD (medical director)
  • Kelly Reingardt, wound and ostomy care nurse
  • Terri Miller, DNP, FNP, nurse practitioner

About the author

Tyler Smith has been a health care writer, with a focus on hospitals, since 1996. He served as a writer and editor for the Marketing and Communications team at University of Colorado Hospital and UCHealth from 2007 to 2017. More recently, he has reported for and contributed stories to the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the Colorado School of Public Health and the Colorado Bioscience Association.